Printer Buying Guide

Depending on the type of documents you want to print, how regularly you plan to use the printer and what additional features you need, you can find hundreds of printer models on the market from leading brands like Brother, Canon, Epson and HP.

Even though the world is slowly going paperless, in some cases you still need printed documents and photos. Some people need physical printouts more than others. If you’re one of those people and you’re looking to buy a new printer for your office, home or work from home, we’ve created a printer buying guide for you.

Depending on the type of documents you want to print, how regularly you plan to use the printer and what additional features you need, you can find hundreds of printer models on the market from leading brands like Brother, Canon, Epson and HP. And choosing the right printer model for your needs can be difficult.

Printers are the main devices that are needed in offices for general printing of work related documents. Apart from that, nowadays people started to buy printers for home as kids homework tasks, train and air ticket printing use cases. Running around an internet cafe for printing a one-way ticket is very time consuming.

Choose Between Inkjet and Laser Printer

The choice depends on the type of documents to be printed, the frequency of printing, and your budget. Below are the relative strengths and weaknesses of each type of printer.

Inkjet Printer

Inkjet printers use wet ink that is sprayed through cartridges or nozzles onto the paper. The ink dries in a few seconds. Inkjet printers are the most common type of printer because they are affordable and can print almost anything: Documents, photos, spreadsheets, and more. If you print both documents and photos, inkjet printers are best for you. However, they are more expensive and more difficult to maintain.

Laser Printer

Laser printers are more expensive compared to inkjet printers because they are easier to maintain and have lower printing costs, especially if you print mainly monochrome documents and a large number of them. Laser printers use toners that contain a special powder that is applied to the paper using static electricity.

Due to the nature of this printing mechanism, laser printers are extremely fast and reliable, but they are also noisier. They are also not suitable for printing images. Yes, there are color laser printers on the market, but they are extremely expensive, and even then they can’t offer the photo printing quality that inkjet printers can.

Choose Among Compact, Portable, or Desktop

Printers come in many different shapes and sizes. If you’re looking for a printer that fits in a small space, there are many compact versions available now. Sure, you’ll have to sacrifice scanner and copier functionality, but for occasional users, this is a good option.

At the other end of the scale are some devices that are significantly larger. They are usually meant for small offices and would be redundant in your home. Remember that technology should look good; don’t buy something that doesn’t fit the environment.

Decide your Primary use case

One way to find the right printer for you is to know your printing requirements. Knowing your printing requirements will help you choose the best printer for your needs. Below is a brief overview of the environment in which you will be printing.

Home Printing

The best printers for home use are those that are designed for low print volumes and are versatile enough to handle both documents and color images. In the past, home users preferred inkjet printers, but now laser printers are a popular option due to their affordability, reliability and better performance.

Office Printing

A laser printer is the standard choice when looking for a printer for the office. Laser printers are the workhorses of the office as they can print large amounts of text over a long period of time. Printers that only print and multifunction printers with scan, copy and fax capabilities are both options that are usually preferred. If you occasionally need color printouts in addition to printing large volumes of documents in the office, color laser printers are ideal.

School Printing

Low-pagination laser printers are well-suited for use in schools. In the long run, they’re cheaper than inkjet printers and less expensive than business laser printers, but they’re just as reliable when it comes to producing the papers you need.

Creative Printing

Nothing compares to the colorful images inkjet printers produce. But stay away from the cheap inkjet printers. Most cheap inkjet printers tend to use a lot of ink, and compared to more expensive models, their cartridges usually hold less ink. As a result, you’ll have to replace ink so frequently that your printer will quickly become obsolete. Look for inkjet printers with at least 6 ink tanks if you want high-quality, colorful prints.

Single or multifunction

Single function

A single-function printer offers only printing capabilities, which brings some distinct advantages: lower costs at purchase and over time, faster print speeds, and slimmer dimensions. They’re especially good if you outsource larger print jobs and for offices that print a lot of documents but scan and copy with other devices.

The HP OfficeJet Pro 8210 is a great example, supporting both color and black-and-white printing at speeds of 18 and 22 pages per minute, respectively. It is designed for high volume printing, supports up to 5 users and has HP’s special efficiency features.


With a multifunction printer, scanning and copying are added to the basic printing functions. Some devices can even fax, although this has become less common as demand for fax capabilities has declined apart from the financial and healthcare industries. This means you can print, scan and copy documents to make high-quality copies, all from a single device.

Another special multifunction feature is photo support. Multifunction printers designed for photos offer added accuracy and quality when creating nuanced color images. The HP OfficeJet Pro 9015e All-in-One printer offers high speeds and management features, as well as print, copy, scan and fax capabilities.

Features You Should Look For in Printers

ISO testing protocols ensure a level playing field all claims and ratings are developed using the same documents and testing procedures. Use these specs as a basis for comparing one device to another, but remember that they are not all-inclusive, especially if you are looking for something specific. Key specifications include:


This means “pages per minute” and is a benchmark for how fast a printer can print pages. This seems simple, but PPM can quickly become complex. For example, printers have very different PPMs for black and white and color printing, so it is common for many printers to offer two different PPMs if they are geared toward color printing.

PPM is not particularly important for home printers unless you are pressed for time on a print job or need to print a large quantity at once. The average PPM for black and white printing is 15 to 20 pages. For color printing, it tends to be less at around 10 to 15 pages per minute.


This refers to “dots per inch,” or how many dots of ink the printer can apply to one square inch of paper. This specification is useful for determining how well a printer can produce high-resolution, detailed images. However, it is also a bit outdated: Newer printing processes and software can improve the resolution of a printed image without changing the DPI value, so this specification should not be the deciding factor.

Duty Cycle

This number indicates how many pages per month a printer is expected to print. The expected number of pages per month should be well below this number so that the printer does not wear out as much. This number is important for a busy office with high print volume, but less important for normally less intensive use at home.

Paper Handling

Both inkjet and laser printers typically print on Letter and Legal size paper. They are equipped with input and output trays that can hold at least 100 sheets of paper. Printers with multiple paper trays can hold far more pages, which helps reduce the need to refill the trays. There are a number of ways printers can use the paper feed.

Some of them pull the paper in from the front of the printer and use rubber rollers to feed the paper from the tray through the printer. In contrast, top-load printers use gravity to feed the paper through the feeder and down the front of the printer. This is a good option if you’re sure you’ll be printing on stiff media or other types of paper that won’t flex. They have a high resolution of effectively 4800×60 DPI.

Printer Interface

Most printers have some sort of visual display, with or without a touchscreen. The more sophisticated the display technology, the more expensive the printer. Common touchscreen displays feature a clean design and allow easy access to functions when setting up jobs. Although features vary by brand and model, even entry-level printers have some sort of display that monitors the device’s operation.

If it’s a multifunction printer, you can most likely fax, scan and copy from here as well. Most interfaces also display the status of print jobs and important information like paper and ink levels. Higher-priced models offer advanced options for print job output, paper selection, and advanced network controls, such as password security protection, remote printing, and card readers.

Connectivity Options

Today’s printing devices offer a variety of connectivity options. Today, almost every printer supports basic Wi-Fi and cloud printing capabilities. However, some projects require alternative connectivity

USB Slot

As a rule, printers have USB ports, with the USB-A standard being the most common. The printer allows you to connect external hard drives and other devices, and then print files directly from the printer’s menu screen. Although USB-C ports are not yet widely available, most home printers will support it in the near future.

SD Card Slot

For photographers, it is useful to use printers that have SD card slots so that they can print images directly from SD cards.


Ethernet ports for wired Internet connections are also available on some printers. However, printer data requirements are relatively simple, and wired Ethernet connections are rarely necessary for home printers (they may make more sense for office printers).


Almost all printers have a built-in Wi-Fi adapter. You will usually need to input your network information to use it. If you have a computer, phone, or other device, you can download software to direct print jobs directly to the printer; no cable is needed. It’s a convenient and easy way to print at home. A Wi-Fi connection can also be used for remote printing from a home computer to an office, which can be extremely valuable for work-at-home workers.

Wi-Fi Direct

Wireless Direct lets you connect to the Internet over a peer-to-peer network that is not connected to your network. When you use Wireless Direct, the printer connects directly to the device via the secure signal. As with Apple’s AirPrint, Wi-Fi Direct is the preferred method for connection, but other platforms also support similar technologies.


Some printers also support NFC (near field communication). This allows you to connect your device to the printer by simply touching it to a specific location on the printer.

Cloud Printing

Many full-featured printers, including all-in-one devices, provide online access to images stored on social media sites such as Facebook, Flickr, and Dropbox. However, you cannot use these services or print to the printer with a smartphone or tablet if your printer is not connected to the Internet.


Many home and business printers have small displays on the front to help select menu options or show printer status. Although the typical display may contain one or two layers of character-based messages, higher-end and photo-oriented printers may have a full-color LCD display with touch capability. Usually, it’s better to have some sort of display than mysterious flashing lights. The Samsung printers we have in our collection have a speed of 43 pages per minute and consume very little power.

Inkjet printers are usually best for printing documents that contain a combination of text, graphics and photos although they tend to have slower print speeds than laser printers. They are also ideal for printing photos on photo stock in a variety of sizes. Laser printers are best if you print a lot of black and white text documents.

Some models are also great for printing color text and graphics, which are good for documents like spreadsheets and annual reports. Print quality is generally expressed in dots per inch (DPI). This unit of measurement indicates how many individual dots of ink or toner the printer applies to a square inch of printable area. Printing technology has improved so much in recent years that the DPI number is largely irrelevant.

Still, it’s good to know that lower-end inkjet printers can typically print 300-600 DPI, which is sufficient for text and simple graphics, while higher-end inkjet printers can easily reach over 1,000 DPI. Laser/LED printers can print between 600 and 2,000 DPI or more. Unless you’re buying a printer for home photo printing, you can safely ignore the DPI specification, as even the lowest-end printers on the market provide more than enough DPI for your basic printing needs.

Energy Efficiency

You can reduce your monthly costs by choosing devices with better efficiency ratings. You can find the appropriate ratings in the “Energy Efficiency” field under the product specifications. The most efficient printers have a combination of ENERGY STAR®, EPEAT®z and/or CECP certification.


The printer speed is an important criterion for double-sided printing. This feature is a must in offices or where there is a high volume of printing. This is also an environmentally friendly function. Let’s say you want to print a 100-page document. A printer with duplex function only needs 50 pages, while a printer without duplex function needs about 100 pages to print the same document. If you want to print on both sides of a printer without duplex function, you have to turn the paper over for each page and reinsert it into the printer, which makes the job almost impossible.


A printer is a device that accepts text and graphics from a computer and transfers the information to paper, usually on standard-sized, 8.5″ x 11″ sheets. Printers vary in size, speed, complexity, and cost. In general, more expensive printers are used for more frequent printing or for high-resolution color printing. Personal computer printers are distinguished into impact or nonimpact printers.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


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